Friday, February 17, 2012

Value Vintage Sets #1 - 82-83 OPC

The number one value vintage set in my opinion is the 82/83 OPC set. Of all the sets on my top 5, this is only the second OPC set to make the list and it is the largest. 396 vintage cards with players who never lasted more than a few games and players who are believed to be the greatest of all-time. The depth of this set is what sets it apart from others and the fact that it is dirt cheap just makes it that much better!

Redeeming Qualities:

Set Size and Player selection
Several Cards booking for over 20 bucks including 2 for 40 a piece (Fuhr and Gretzky).
Set can be had for well under 100 bucks and even then it only books for 100 bucks! That is like 25 cents a card for a set nearly 30 years old.
Do you like Gretzky? There are 8 Gretzky cards in this set.

The Front Side

Really cool shot on this card. The design is very meat and potatoes, but it isn't too hard to like them, but you may not LOVE them.

The Back Side

Some of the cards have a bit of a dating game feel to them as you find out which NHL stars are bachelors and which like long walks on the beach. The backs complement the front rather well with a simple design and good colour selection.

The Rookies:

Of all the sets on the list, 82/83 offers the most rookies and many of them are HOF'ers! In all, there are 63 rookie cards including some of the following:

Ron Francis Rookie
Grant Fuhr Rookie (HOF)

Dale Hawerchuk Rookie (HOF)

Plus rookies of other great former NHL'ers like Joe Mullen, Bobby Carpenter, Brent Sutter and Neal Broten just to name a few.

Other notable cards:

First off, there really isn't many cooler looking cards this this one of Mike Liut!

Wayne Gretzky 4th year card

Wayne Gretzky In Action

This set has an IA card for every team in the set and usually showcases their star player. I like this one as you see Wayne trying to dodge a hip-check.

More Random Wayne!

There you have it, my Top 5 Value Vintage...

1. 82/83 OPC
2. 78/79 Topps
3. 81/82 Topps
4. 84/85 Topps
5. 89/90 OPC

Even though I built this set from packs, I consider it a Value set because it books for a mere 100 bucks and I have seen them sell for 80 bucks on eBay. Part of the low value is because they printed OPC in both Canada and US so there are more of these than lets say 81/82 OPC ( I stand corrected, it has been pointed out to me that US did not receive this release). However, this set is really stacked with great cards, cool rookies and to me offers the best bang for your buck (with a limited budget).

So what are your thoughts? Is your top 5 similar or different? I would like to try a top five for under 500 bucks sometime as it would pull in some pretty cool sets, but this is what my top 5 for under 100 bucks would look like.


  1. Very nice. I was guessing this would be part of your list.

    I was in Grade 7 when this set came out. It was the first time I ever bought a box of anything. I hadn't heard of it being distributed in the States. I always figured that the price difference between this and '81-82 was the presence of Kurri, Coffey et al in the earlier set.

    Now that you're done, I can post mine! :)

  2. Always liked this set. Clean and simple with bright colours. Although the Fuhr card is waaaaay overpriced, the set, like you say, is extremely affordable.
    There are a LOT of great goalie cards in it and of course, Cooperalls!

  3. A small correction, but this set was only available in Canada at the time and printed up here. You couldn't get them at the retail level south of the border in 1983. They did seem to make a large amount of this set, though!

  4. I'd put this one at the top of the list for hockey. Several quality rookies all that could be had for cheap. 82-83 and 83-84 are the only years Topps didn't do a set in the 80s and those two set are the two cheapest.

  5. Great choice, I'm still hand-collating mine, only about half-way there but I love this one...

  6. I just aquirred the wayne gretzky 81-82 4th year card (not the one in action the first pic above of wayne bent over with stick horizontal) was wondering if anyone could tell me its worth if so email me at